The REAL List: Five In, Five Out of the NFL Playoffs

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The other two football-interested parties on this here newsmagazine breezed through with their picks for the five-in, five-out parity machine that is the NFL Playoffs, and that was good. However, they were both wrong.

Here, now, I share with you the definitive list of the 2012-13 Playoff Ins and Outs for the NFL. You’re welcome in advance.

In: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are a much-improved squad, and should they happen to miss the AFC West title — which you might think is likely, since they finished last in the division last season — they could still finish 9-7 and grab a wild card slot. That’s exactly what I think will happen, with the Peyton Manning-led Broncos grabbing the AFCW crown for the second straight year, and the Chiefs sliding in (barely) in a weakened AFC field at the expense of…

Out: Pittsburgh Steelers
I know it’s become the trendy pick to say the Yinzburghers will be left out of this year’s playoff picture, but the facts behind everyone picking this to happen are pretty sound. Ben Roethlisberger’s best efforts come when he’s allowed to improvise, move in the pocket, and throw deep down field, which are three things that new Yinzers OC Re-Todd “Handshake” Haley isn’t comfortable with in his quarterbacks. Their offensive line, already the subject of many derisive posts from bloggers in their mom’s basements got worse with the season-ending injury to David DeCastro. And their defense is getting old and ineffective quickly. It wouldn’t surprise this reporter if Marvin James Harrison missed several games due to a combination of old age, karma and gaping asshole-ism.

In: Dallas Cowboys
Fact is, they’ve jussssssst missed the playoffs the last several years, and although they’re not an elite team, I think they’re good enough to take the division in a strong division where all the teams will beat the shit out of one another. RG3-13 is busy being ruined by the Mike Shanaclan, Mike Vick is going to break his ribs when he rolls out of bed the day of the season opener, and the Giants are just crazy overrated. Not bad enough to miss the playoffs, but overrated, nonetheless. Speaking of overrated…

Out: San Francisco 49ers
Another playoff miss that is a trendy choice, the Niners have a good defense filled with superstars and high draft picks, a good wideout corps, and a top offensive head coach. How can they miss the playoffs in what is really a pretty weak division? I’ll tell you how: Because Alex “Captain Tinyhands” Smith is their quarterback, and I just see no way he has a repeat performance of last year, when he minimized his mistakes and helped the Niners to a 13-3 record and the NFC title game. Typically, when a mistake-prone QB suddenly puts it together for a season, it’s an anomaly, not the norm, and I see no reason that shouldn’t be true here.

In: Seattle Seahawks
Consider me a convert to the church of Russell Wilson, who has made me feel foolish about doubting him ever since he laid the smackdown to the Broncos at Sports Authority Field @ Mile High in the second preseason game. (The High Priest of said church is none other than Vincent Casablancas, and his takes on Mr. Wilson are among the strongest I’ve ever heard from anyone, ever.)

Out: New Orleans Saints
Suspensions of coaches and players, some for the entire year? AHAHAHAHAHAHA, you’re not making the playoffs.

In: Indianapolis Colts
Jesus, Andrew Luck is good. Like, REALLY good. Like so good the Colts, a putrid 2-14 squad last year without Manning and his NeckAIDS, will win 9 games this year in the AFC South, a terrible division that starts such quarterbacking luminaries as Matt Schaub (the most non-descript quarterback of the last 20 years), Jake Locker (could be good someday, but really isn’t just yet), and Blaine Gabbert (AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA).

Out: Cincinnati Bengals
I actually quite like the team that the Bengals are fielding this year. They’ve got speed at wide receiver, a better-than-I-thought-he’d-be quarterback in Andy Dalton, and a salty defense that is well-coached and aggressive. A lot to like. However, there are two things that bother me: 1. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the starting running back, and that makes me giggle, and 2. Marvin Lewis is still their head coach. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. Guy’s a great coordinator, but like Norv Turner and Wade Phillips, he should probably just stick to the second-in-command job.

In: Chicago Bears
Reuniting Jay Cutler with Brandon Marshall was inspired, and could be the finishing piece on a team that has it all: outstanding defense, solid running game, and just-good-enough-to-not-lose-sometimes coaching from Lovie Smith. Oh yeah, they also have the best special teams in the league. The Bears could win 14 games this year, but this prediction is only good if Jay Cutler stops being a me-first fucktard. Judging by his bored-looking performance singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame at Wrigley this summer, I’m not sure he’s there yet or if he’ll ever get there. But if there was ever a time for a changing of the guard in a tough division, this could be it.

Out: Green Bay Packers
Yeah, I said it. Just like last year’s Eagles, the Packers of 2012 are being heralded as one of the most potent teams of all time. They’re good, yes, but they lack the balance that Chicago has, and while their defense is good, I don’t think it’s as good as Chicago and Detroit. No running game and a serious bite from the injury bug will cost Green Bay dearly, and they’ll take a tumble to 7-9.

Please to bet accordingly.

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